Taijiquan Lun

Postby Richard Man » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:05 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
[B]Last few lines of this first section:

4. 动急则急应,动缓则缓随。
5. 虽变化万端,而理为一贯。
6. 由招熟而渐悟懂劲,由懂劲而阶及神明。
7. 然非用力日久,不能豁然贯通焉。

He moves fast I respond quickly,
He moves slowly I follow slowly.
Although the permutations are infinite,
yet they are arranged into a single thread.

</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's only line 4 and 5 :-)
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Postby Richard Man » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:07 am

On Yielding, I have written a blog entry (or two :-) ) on it http://neijiachuan.wordpress.com Basically, properly speaking, yielding is Zou Hua, you have to move (Zou) and not too much, so you can Hua. Either one is insufficient, you need both.

And as my mantra, most people do not yield, they redirect.

// richard
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:43 pm

Greetings Jerry,

You could be right that li3 is verbal here, but wouldn’t that make the role of the wei4 somewhat superfluous or awkward? I’m more inclined to read li as a noun here, but not with the sense of a rule or maxim—“principle(s)”—but rather as the underlying structure that “makes it work.” Again, the presence of identifiable traces of neo-Confucian language in this document—and as you know, neo-Confucianism is properly known as “li3 xue2” as well as “dao4 xue2” (study of li or study of the way)—encourages that interpretation. If you go through Zhou Dunyi’s “Taijitu Shuo,” which I linked earlier, there are references to li (principle) and wanwu (myriad things) that resonate with language here.

Chen Weiming’s is just one commentary I’ve read that takes li as a noun in this passage. His version has a variant—wei2 instead of wei4—which I suppose here would read “only, uniquely” one thread.

http://martialart.giss.ncpes.edu.tw/taichi95/books/D1925AK0/D1925AK00126072.jpg

Your rendering—“arranged into a single thread”—is neat, but the link back to “permutations” as a subject is less than clear. Reading li as a noun, on the other hand, introduces a new subject—[the] principle makes [them] one thread.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby yslim » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:26 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by JerryKarin:
[B]Last few lines of this first section:

I take 理 li here as in 理髮 'arranging hair' ie cutting hair or styling it. (Xie Bingcan once remarked to me: 你从来没有理过髮!) Li not only means the pattern (as in grain of jade) but also to arrange in a pattern, to order.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 09-09-2008).]

Hi Jerry

You can cut off all your hairs or styling it all you want, it is still just hair. as long as you still have your head that is what matter! In Taiji you consciously 'li' all your techniques and styles (as you 'li' your hair)and ultimately your need to be able to unconsciously carry out the action with your mind/yi power. This is call empty,'Form' but no 'form',if you have the "mind power". So keep your head intact to tain it well and let the hair fall where it may.

Hope this is not too confusing.

Ciao,
yslim
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Postby Yuri_Snisarenko » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:43 am

Let’s look on LI ( 理 ) in the perspective of the next line:

“Refining the techniques and then – gradual realizing of dong jin (understanding jin) ….”

Whose jin are we going to understand? Can we understand the other’s jin without understanding of our own?

Principle/ pattern/ arranging - - body-mind/ form/ technique. From principle to pattern, from pattern to arranging.


[This message has been edited by Yuri_Snisarenko (edited 09-10-2008).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:59 pm

I actually do make pretty good sense out of Yuri's interpretation, punctuated thus:

5. 虽变化万端,而理为一贯:
6. 由招熟而渐悟懂劲,由懂劲而阶及神明。
7. 然非用力日久,不能豁然贯通焉。
(roughly)
Although the permutations are infinite, yet the principle makes of them a single thread:
from knowing the postures well to gradually awakening to understanding of energy and from understanding energy indirectly attaining to Shenming (intuitive understanding). However, unless one expends effort for a long time, one cannot fully perceive it.

(small tweak to line 5)

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 09-10-2008).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:20 pm

Greetings Jerry and Yuri,

That could work, but I still see the “one thread” line as a comment on what precedes, not what follows. Gu Liuxin sees it that way as well, in his commentary on the lun. Here’s my seat-of-the pants translation of his commentary: “Although the movements are ever changing (qianbian wanhua), yet the principle (daoli) of alternation of adhering and giving way (nian zou xiangsheng), and of responding to and following swiftness and slowness, remains consistent (yiguan: one thread).” —Gu Liuxin, _Taijiquan Shu_, China Book Press, Hong Kong, 1985, p. 399.

Gu not only clarifies that li3 is noun—daoli (principle; the hows and whys of something)—but he names its attributes. Remember how this document begins. It begins with a description of the philosophical concept of taiji. Whoever wrote this document was vamping on some familiar themes. Compare, for example, a recorded statement of Zhu Xi, “Master Zhu said: Ji is the end point (jizhi) of the moral order (daoli). The order of all things in Heaven and Earth is Taiji. Taiji is just the single actualized order that runs through them and unifies them.” —trans. Joseph Alder, —online doc. Another word for endpoint is “duan.”

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 09-10-2008).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:28 pm

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Postby Yuri_Snisarenko » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:27 am

Greetings Louis,

I see all the logic behind what Gu says, and probably would make that commentary myself if I needed to publish a book. But to me what sometimes is given as a hint may be more interesting than a strict explanation. For instance, speaking about philosophical concept of taiji from the first line, I've heard and have suspicion that it's true that Zhou Dunyi's text - that his work - was based on earlier daoist text with practical meaning that he found out.

But again I have nothing to say against your point and Gu's explanation, it's just how I see it.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:33 am

Yeah I think maybe you are right, Louis, line 5 refers back to the initial notion of taiji, and it is the 'principle' referred to by li in line 5. The principle of the two polar opposites which cling and move away is here said to explain everything, all the various changes and positions in the art.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 09-10-2008).]
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Postby shugdenla » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:01 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by yslim:
<B> Hi Master Swaim

Sorry to say I did not have Master Chen Weiming's book. How can I get his book? (In Chinese) Sorry I don't know who is Barbara?
I know very little as I am not a well read man. I just like to share some personal experience in Taiji practice what I learned from my teachers before I forgot it. Because I was told endlessly "Now you know form, forget the form.You have root, forget the root. Use your yi and go outside, forget the body. One of these days I might just do that naturally. I should call it "Process of Aging".No mind, no matter. Simple Taiji is Tao??.

Wish you a 'shun yi' day

Ciao
yslim</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

"Old" ways and "New" ways of reading/understanding and training does take a toll on the actual end result of modern day taijiquan practice.
My own bias is that people rely totally on what the book says as opposed the the actual represetation of practice and that appears to be a telling point of training curriculum.

Alot similar to 10 people seeing or hearing the same event but all reporting many divergent realities separate from the actual incident/event!
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:05 pm

Dear Shugdenla,

“My own bias is that people rely totally on what the book says as opposed the the actual represetation of practice and that appears to be a telling point of training curriculum.”

To be frank, I find the innuendo offensive. I can’t know who the “people” may be to whom you make reference, but your comment does not accord with my experience. I know taiji practitioners whose level of skill and engagement with the art has been significantly enhanced through serious study of traditional taiji documents. I see comments like yours crop up from time to time, but to me it smacks of sour grapes. Your post, after all, is in a thread where the objective is to discuss “Taiji Theory and Principles.” You can take it or leave it, depending on where your interests lie.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:26 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Re: “from knowing the postures well to gradually awakening to understanding of energy and from understanding energy indirectly attaining to Shenming (intuitive understanding). However, unless one expends effort for a long time, one cannot fully perceive it.”

I like your translation of these lines, but I’m not sure how you arrive at the “indirectly.” I think the “jie” there means “steps,” and by extension it has to do with incremental progess, "by degrees," or “by stages.” This contrasts with the “huoran guantong” which implies “sudden” as well as pervasive understanding. Gu Liuxin’s commentary is again useful on this passage. He glosses “jieji” as “to follow steps in ascent, as in a flight of stairs or a ladder which is climbed step-by-step.”

--Louis
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Postby shugdenla » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:09 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Dear Shugdenla,

“My own bias is that people rely totally on what the book says as opposed the the actual represetation of practice and that appears to be a telling point of training curriculum.”

To be frank, I find the innuendo offensive. I can’t know who the “people” may be to whom you make reference, but your comment does not accord with my experience. I know taiji practitioners whose level of skill and engagement with the art has been significantly enhanced through serious study of traditional taiji documents. I see comments like yours crop up from time to time, but to me it smacks of sour grapes. Your post, after all, is in a thread where the objective is to discuss “Taiji Theory and Principles.” You can take it or leave it, depending on where your interests lie.

Take care,
Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you kind sir!

I have never stated what you appear to imply. I laud referenceing any book one can find to clarify procedures or approaches but to me (my own experience) is that people know the book well but when time to show what taijiquan is, many times it falls short.
Let me please clarify that I am not talking about you. Your intellectual and schorlarly ability in Chinese is far superior to mine so I have always defered to you in respect of that skill.

Likewise, have a good day!
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:31 pm

Greetings Shugdenla,

No, I hadn't taken your remark as referring to me, and yes, I evidently did not catch your intended meaning. I'm pretty sure I still haven't caught it, but thanks for the effort.

Take care,
Louis
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